The Foreign Service Journal - May 2014 - page 66

MAY 2014
Mr. Brown loved dogs and the
outdoors, and had a passion for new
adventures. An accomplished skier, snow-
boarder, water skier, wake-boarder, rock
climber and kayaker, he surprised family
and friends with his perpetual willingness
to try new things—even taking up ballet
and giving his first (and only) recital at the
age of 50.
A Christian Scientist, he embraced
Judaism as part of his family faith.
Mr. Brown is survived by his wife of
34 years, Betsey Hulnick Brown, of Lake
Placid, N.Y.; his son, Michael Lawrence
Brown of New Orleans, La.; his daugh-
ter, Danielle Raymonde Brown, of New
Haven, Conn.; his mother, Francoise
Brown; his brother, Gregory, and sister,
Valerie Brown Ewins; his father and
mother-in-law, Don and Barbara Helnick
of Tupper Lake, N.Y.; and extended family
members in the United States and France.
In lieu of flowers, the Browns wel-
come donations to the Rotary Club of
Lake Placed, the American University of
Afghanistan Scholars Fund (
. or Planned Parenthood
of the North Country New York (www. Please note “Chris Brown” in
the subject line for any donations.
Peter W. Colm
, 90, a retired Foreign
Service officer who specialized in China,
the Far East and Sino-Soviet relations,
died on Jan. 5 at his home in Graham,
N.C., of congestive heart failure.
Mr. Colmwas born in Germany on Jan.
18, 1924. His father, Gerhard Colm, was an
economist and his mother, Hanna, was a
psychotherapist. Shortly after Hitler came
to power in 1933, the family emigrated to
the United States.
During World War II, Mr. Colm served
in the infantry in China, Burma and India
as a corporal and sergeant assigned to the
124th Cavalry (Mars Task Force) and to
Christopher Michel Lance Brown
57, an FSO with the U.S. Agency for Inter-
national Development, died peacefully at
his home with family and friends in Lake
Placid, N.Y., on March 23.
The son of Vince Brown, a senior
USAIDmission director (one of the first
development officials appointed to imple-
ment the Marshall Plan), and Francoise
Brown, a former French citizen, Chris
Brown was in many ways born into inter-
national development.
Mr. Brown was raised in Islamabad and
Kabul, where he learned Urdu and Dari,
as well as French and English. He received
his B.A. degree fromOccidental College
and his master’s and doctoral degrees in
agricultural economics from the Fletcher
School. His doctorate was based on exten-
sive field work in Liberia.
Shortly after graduating from the Tufts
University’s Fletcher School of Law and
Diplomacy, Mr. Brown and his wife, Betsy,
began a remarkable joint career with
USAID. Over the next 20-plus years, they
worked in more than 50 countries promot-
ing democracy, economic growth, health,
agricultural development and strategic
Mr. Brown was devoted to educational
opportunities in Afghanistan, including
the reconstruction of the American Uni-
versity of Afghanistan (which was built on
the rubble of his former high school). One
of the highlights of his career was putting
schoolbooks into the hands of millions of
children across Afghanistan after the fall
of the Taliban in 2001.
Family members, colleagues and
friends recall his dazzling command of
seven languages and a zest for life which
enabled him to thrive while living with
cancer for 23 years. Kind and generous, he
worked throughout his life to build a sense
of community, bringing people together in
celebration with food, music and poetry.
the Chinese Combat Command. His com-
bat experience in the northern Shan and
Kachin areas of Burma, and seven months
in Kunming, China, where he spent his
off-duty hours learning Chinese, sparked a
lifelong interest in Asia.
After returning to Harvard University at
the end of the war, he changed his major
from physics to political science and Asian
studies, graduating in 1946.
Mr. Colm joined the State Department
in 1949 and the Foreign Service in 1960. In
1961 he was posted to Taiwan for six years,
where he served as supervising politi-
cal officer in the embassy in Taipei and
continued his study of Mandarin Chinese
in Taichung.
From 1968 to 1978, he worked as
a research analyst for the Institute for
Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Va. He
returned to the State Department in 1978
as a political analyst specializing in Soviet
and Asian affairs and Sino-Soviet rela-
tions. From 1980 to 1982, he was chief of
the political section at the U.S. consulate
general in Hong Kong.
On returning to Washington, D.C., in
1983, Mr. Colm became a senior political
analyst of East Asian, South Asian and
Soviet affairs, holding that post until his
retirement in 1987. He continued to work
part-time for the State Department until
Mr. Colmwas a music lover, and intro-
duced his children to Pete Seeger and the
Weavers, Bob Dylan and Louis Armstrong,
as well as Beethoven’s late quartets.
Following retirement, he and his wife,
Pamela, moved fromWashington, D.C., to
Lusby, Md., where they enjoyed enter-
taining grandchildren, catching crabs
and kayaking almost every evening in
the inlets around Solomons Island. They
also made several long-distance trips, to
Hawaii, Cambodia, Germany and China.
In 2010, the couple moved to Graham,
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